I’ve written about all sorts of ugly games this season. Truth be told, it’s been an ugly season. However, of all the ugly games I’ve ever seen, this might have topped them all.
Two horrid teams, Virginia Tech and UVA, struggled all day to move the ball with any consistency. The two schools combined for a dismal 520 yards. For comparison, Oregon put up 570 yards against Oregon State by themselves. This wasn’t so much a defensive battle as it was a plethora of anemic offenses.
Well…halfway. I have to give credit to Bud Foster’s defense, which had a great showing against the Cavaliers for most of the day. Virginia’s run game was stifled to a mere 30 yards yesterday, and after Mike London’s failed fake field goal attempt with roughly 7:30 left in the 3rd quarter only amassed 18 total yards for the rest of the game. That’s impressive against any team.
Antoine Exum came up with a clutch interception after a Hokies missed field goal, the defensive line got pressure on Rocco, and they made the Cavaliers one dimensional. With the blustering wind, the passing game was only going to be so good. It wasn’t good enough to vault UVA past this ugly Hokies team.
Offensively the Hokies were almost as ugly as they have been all season. I can’t emphasize that word enough – ugly. This was a dreadful showing on many accounts, and this is a team that desperately needs the extra bowl week practice time. Logan Thomas averaged 3.4 yards per pass. That is woeful even if you suited me up and threw me into the fray. The Hokies even ran a season-high 95 plays on offense, but only came away with 303 total yards. That averages out to 3.2 yards per play. I don’t think I have to explain to you guys how bad that is.
In fact, who knows if the Hokies win if not for the laughable/soul-crushing (depending on your vantage point) clock management by Mike London within the last two minutes of the game. We have all complained about Frank Beamer’s clock management this season, but yesterday Mike London made Frank Beamer look like Nick Saban. That was the worst logic I’ve ever seen in my life and I loved every second of it. His ineptitude allowed the Hokies to kick the game-winning field goal as the clock expired.
Thanks, Mike. I think I owe you a beer (or Zima) for that one.
Let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture here. The Hokies won 17-14, they downed their in-state rival for the ninth straight year, and they are bowl eligible for the 20th straight season. All of those things are reason to be happy. But let’s not get it twisted, this is not a good football team. If they play any team that’s worth a damn in a bowl game, it’ll likely be pretty ugly. But the team gets practice time, which is all we can hope for at this point.
And let’s not forget – changes on the offensive coaching staff are expected to finally come this off-season. Next year we could be seeing a completely new look Virginia Tech on offense. The rumor mill is churning out ideas, scenarios, and suggestions but we’ll have to wait and see what actually transpires.
This season has been what it is – a down year that Virginia Tech can’t allow to snowball into future seasons. I’m hopeful, and fearful, of what Frank Beamer might do or not do this off-season. I’m hoping for the best, but I’ll wait before I get too excited. For now, I’ll enjoy the bowl season and the victory against the hated Cavaliers.
It’s always a great day to be a Hokie!